The hazelnut coffee is flowing and I’m finally landed back in the Michigan and catching up. We had a wonderful whirlwind trip to AZ whereas we were met at the airport by ‘Doc’ our AZ transportation Captain in a new RV. We went to Wilcox and had a few days of great friends old and new including Darby Hinton * who beat me for ‘Best Supporting Actor’ in the very entertaining film ‘Bill Tillman and the OutLaws’ who also had my dear friend Lana Wood in a great cigar chomping role that reminded me of the mother in “Goonies” – just great.
I also had just bought a $2 Johnny Cash album at the flea market ‘Live from Folsom Prison’ and lo and behold we spent time visiting with John Carter Cash, his wife Ann and son Joe who had a short film “Dragon Song” at the festival and promoting a new documentary “The Gift” about Johnny. Just wonderful people and abound and so thank you to Rock and Brenda who put the Wild Bunch Film Festival on. We took home 7 awards of the 13 nominations.
BEST DIRECTOR, BEST ACTOR and ACTRESS, BEST CHILD ACTORS, BEST FAITH FILM and I’m forgetting one. Come on coffee! It will come to me.
That same weekend we had Lauren LaStrada win ‘Best Actress’ again in Wild Faith at the Hollywoodivine International Film Festival in PA. The film took Honorable Mention for ‘Best Faith Film’ and won ‘Best Film’ overall. Josh Perry was there representing THE CHRIST SLAYER and WON for his role of Albus. We were all so proud of him.
The weekend prior we were honored to have WON the Justice Award at Content 19 for WILD FAITH that was also recognized for SET DESIGN. Next week at the Green Mountain Christian Film Festival I’ve been nominated again for ‘Best Supporting Actor’ as Ben Lily. I’m proud of all the attention the films are getting.
So if you have not stayed current these are some of the CDI films you can watch on TV or get the DVD.
ASHES OF EDEN
FORTY NIGHTS – The Quest Trilogy Part 1
CHASING THE STAR – The Quest Trilogy Part 2
THE CHRIST SLAYER – The Quest Trilogy Part 3
MBF: Man’s Best Friend
- Also if you want to see some old school – my 1st starring film with monsters in it is called IN THE WOODS and can be found on Amazon.
- Also WICKED SPRING now released by CDI but an older Civil War drama.
- R Rated – Halloween fare could include DARKEST NIGHT, DEADLY RENOVATIONS and THE 8th PLAGUE if you dare:)
The office has the wood burning stove going. This week I will harvest the apples for a crisp. We have been enjoying the HOPPY GRAPE APE wine at our meetings. We missed a family wedding yesterday to attend a memorial for my Uncle on the other side of the family. A unique, funny storyteller who will be greatly missed. He would have enjoyed LOST HEART.
LOST HEART is past the 30 min mark in the edit and I’m looking to move it to sound design and music towards the end ofd the year. The distribution is set and this will be another enjoyable CDI film.
This week we’re prepping for a short narrative film that is actually a demo for a software company. It is a Victorian age film short taken from a feature film script of mine entitled SMOKE & MIRRORS. It will be a fun project for sure.
We also will be pushing hard with the new momentum for the WILD FAITH TV series. Plus we have a few features we are developing foe 2020 and 2021. With that I’m going to close this blog up and enjoy the morning.
Peace to you all!
A week ago I was waking up early in Kalamazoo to return from our 15th anniversary showing and deal announcement on IN THE WOODS. I have a few more public events coming up soon. I do plan to attend the showing of STANDING POST that was done by one of my long time collaborators and features three actors I respect. I’m also happy that the crowd surrounding the East Lansing Film Festival will get a chance to see ASHES OF EDEN and also get some exciting news for the film. I am happy that this inspirational film will reach even more people. LOCKED IN A ROOM thrilled some folks in Canton last week and I got some great communications from fans watching stuff on VOD. On TV as I type is the making of John Carpenters HALLOWEEN. 21 days and 325,000 with Donald’s pay being 25k. I’m enjoying seeing how much fun those actors had making that little film that would be a king classic in the genre. It was also slammed hard when it first came out. John said much of it was from other artsy filmmakers unhappy they could not get the exposure and release they felt they deserved.
This past week had some of my people working hard to get things in order on BESTSELLER. We are planning time for the director and DP to come in and share ideas. I think we are growing close to a finished film on THE TERRORIST. We only have a few left in the pipeline. Which brings us to DEVELOPMENT.
I’ve got WASTELAND ahead of me this December and we launched the Facebook site where we will be featuring updates in cast, artwork and props. I’ve had some great meetings with a few people over the last couple weeks as CDI looks to increase the army. I look for smart, positive people with passion and willing to work hard. I’ve built everything in this industry I have brick by brick with few if any handouts. I found other like-minded people and together we faced battles – won some, lost some and moved forward.
As our sales team has been licensing films in the library we have been looking at franchising a few of the films. It is no secret that Lynn Drzick is interested in doing another IN THE WOODS. If the right script is agreed upon it may happen. Also VP of CDI, director Jeff Kennedy and I have had talks over KNIGHT CHILLS and we do have a rough idea of a follow-up. I may be paid to write a script that I’ve had in my head for many years for an associate this November. Discussions on several scripts that already have distributor interest and in some cases guarantees continues.
On some of these smaller scope projects I’m looking at upcoming filmmakers who have yet to reach an international level. I’m looking at people who don’t want to do this as a hobby but as a career path. Many of these people have personal ideas/scripts that can be enjoyable for a small pocket of fans but often does not lead to bigger things. While some are content with making films for fun many in the cast or crew have greater aspirations.
It’s a stairs step process to get to these levels of film success. By success I mean having a title that has sold tens of thousands plus units or is in rotation on TV networks or available in different countries. Once you start to take steps if others around you aren’t willing to do the same you sometimes have to distance yourself creatively for a while. Maybe just until they evolve to that next level. If you’ve done a string of quality projects and have started to frame yourself as a professional you cannot slip back. By you saying NO, you may be one of many that helps them evolve. This is hard when you know the people but if they are doing it for fun and you are building a career – conflict of interest. I’ve explained to a few friends in the field (not truly in the BIZ) I cannot just come play for fun. I spend that time on paid projects or developing paid projects. When you win as a producer you win for many artists. When a film breaks out into the international market the resume of all those artists increases. I don’t always feel that some artists, usually the young, fully appreciates this fact. The wages may be modest, the hours long but to have a credit on a film that really gets into the marketplace is so valuable. So take pride in your work and be happy that you are working on something that will help you. If you start out in our field just for the money you’re in the wrong field. There is good money to be made but it comes in time through hard, collaborative work.
For the last few years I’ve been gone on set shooting during October so this has been wonderful to be home. Like I said earlier, I would rather spend time developing and finishing projects of quality versus just doing to do projects that are just fun. I do things for fun (Reading, soccer, archery, guitar, brewing) and I often find filmmaking fun BUT since I am accountable and use investment versus donations – I take my work very serious. I’ve been in development talks with Shane Hagedorn (ASHES OF EDEN) and we plan to do a 2015 film. Add in the handful of other projects developing and the new year could be filled with exciting projects. I look forward to incorporating some new people into the tribe. I look forward to working with my tried and true. I look forward to sharing our stories with fans around the world. Right now, I’m looking forward to some more coffee, some breakfast and MSU putting a whoop on U of M.
Have a great weekend and be good to one another.
So I got up this morning to find beautiful white snow falling gently across the outdoors. And with that I had to get some steamy coffee to sip upon. It has been a relaxing couple of weeks post ASHES. It has been spent wrapping up paperwork, unpacking office and getting ready for the holidays and the new year beyond. This year really saw some good work finalize. Several films came out of post and a few moved into distribution. Even as we speak more are chugging down the line in post-production. Did I say that beautiful flakes of snow are falling!
On the 10th of December here a showing of “7 Stones” will happen on TV in western Michigan. Our first foreign distribution of “Deadly Renovations” will be announced in Jan. 2013. New trailers are forthcoming on “Darkest Night” and “Locked in a Room” both signed for domestic distribution and will release nationally in 2013. A re-release of a horror classic “The 8th Plague” is now an instant download on amazon after signing with a new distributor. “Book of Ruth” getting into many of the mass superstores for Christmas. I know I’m missing some of these announcements but 1st cup of coffee:)
I’m looking hard at 2013 at projects both acting and producing. I think a few of the projects could move into the pre-production gates. It is such a crazy process that really has a life of its own. I’m tempted to look for some deep meaning topic to delve into but as I catch glimpses of falling snow I don’t feel like it. Life will always have issues – some great and some small. I’m appreciative and thankful that mine this year are all small. I hope that each of you out there enjoy the day, the weekend and the remaining year.
Be kind to one another.
Again I sit in my cozy chair sipping the hazelnut coffee and pondering the past and future. I’m happy to say we brought “Ashes of Eden” in on schedule and within budget. I had barely wrapped when the holiday was upon us. I’ve been fighting to get my sleep patterns straight after a month of “battle”. I’m very happy with what I saw and I will go to battle with some of them again I’m sure. Next stop is post and distribution. There has been a lot of praise and such tossed about from the shoot but what I saw was film professionals acting like film professionals. It all starts with management and trickles down to keys and all the way to PA’s. (Product assistants) It was one of the smoothest film sets yet and that is dealing with cold and such. I wanted to really showcase Michigan on both sides of the camera. But that proof was also up to the artists to provide. I’ve worked with some amazing people in this industry and taking pride in the work is the key. As I get older I just have zero tolerance for dramatic conflict causing B.S.. I think the key is to isolate and not feed into it. It is also something you cut away on future endeavors. I tell people I’ve made friends in the industry but it stems from respect and hard work. This is not a popularity contest nor strut walk of artists. It is about the individual who can blend their art seamlessly with others. Conforming to a single directorial vision all within the confined parameters of budget. Overall I think we had a great group of artists – I look forward to working with many of them again.
In other film news…
– “Benjamin” had a great showing last Sat. at the Big Apple Festival in NYC to a sold out show.
– Also Eventity Entertainment will release “Deadly Renovations” into Scandinavia on VOD this 2013.
– I’m signing up TV deals on “Wicked Spring” and “Figure in the Forest” to release on Parables Network.
– “Darkest Night” will have a domestic release trailer in advance of its March 22nd release date for US/Canada.
– “Donors” is doing final pick ups before it comes over to MI for musical score.
– “Book of Ruth: Journey of Faith” can be watched on Netflix and is also now at Meijer’s 1500 stores. I’m also hearing Wal-Mart.
– “7 Stones” is to have a Michigan TV premiere in December. More info soon.
Now while we set up “ASHES” post I will start looking at what I’m going to do in 2013 as an actor, producer and with Collective Development Inc. www.cdiproductions.com Our website will need an end of the year update soon. Enjoy family and friends and set your goals for the year ahead! If you enjoy this blog feel free to share it with the artists in your circle.
So this has been a wonderful week of prepping for the “Ashes of Eden” shoot. I’m actually writing this Sat. night so I can actually catch some of you up on the events as of late. We assembled an excellent crew – so much that for the last two nights I’ve looked to my phone for texts or emails with fires to put out or issues to address. It has been quiet. The office today was just a relaxing atmosphere. We’ve got a great cast and a powerful story to tell. We’ve got a few major studios tracking us and I think this film will be a classic. It has been front and center but in no way is it the only thing moving forward.
“Locked in a Room” completed final mix and was delivered to the distributor. More announcements there very soon. “Darkest Night” had its first US showing where it announced that it will release in the USA on March 22nd, 2013. I’m told that the S. Korea deal is now underway and I’ve very excited for US fans to see this film. It also took home a contribution award for the bridging of East/West at the FACINE festival in San Francisco. As for “Deadly Renovations” it opens on various VOD networks on Nov. 1st so look for it there or buy at amazon.com, rent at Blockbuster but enhance your Halloween experience:)
Speaking of that I want to thank Nancy Gideon for the wonderful interview she did for her Haunted House online site. It was good to talk about film past, present and future:) Thank you Nancy.
I’m waiting on release dates nationally for “Heaven’s Neighbors” and “Figure in the Forest” after a deal with our rep went South last year. It has been reset and will finally be coming to you on DVD. Also some TV play looks to be at hand so stay tuned there as well.
I’m told “7 Stones” will be done Nov 15th and will play TV in December and I do hope that it does. Also I got to see a rough cut of “Realizism” and it is one funny film. Joe Andersen is one funny man:) “Donors” is in fine editing before moving to music and sound design. I will be releasing the new poster here soon that showcases Dr. Savior on the poster as well as our female lead Niki Saletta.
“Benjamin” is playing a few more festivals internationally and will be heading for theaters in early 2013. I’ve seen working cuts but I’m anxious to see the final film. Jon Osman was a great director to work for and I think he might just have something special. My buddy Carlucci from “Karma” and “Benjamin” is onboard “Ashes of Eden” and so it will be cool to see him in a few days.
The NEW fort office is structurally sound and while I’m working the AOE production office the inside wiring and walls will be worked on. I’ve been packing up the old fort office and soon the transition will be complete. A new chapter will begin and I for one am ready to attack 2013. We have another paid of biblical era films and Dean Teaster’s “Long Road Home” looks close to financing. I have several other film partnerships underway and I hope they get to be told in 2013.
Well, I’m happy that I had a chance to really fill you all in on my endeavors as of late. I’m a person who loves fall and this thinning of the veil.
Dance ye round the balefire:)